The College Board has named the Holland School District to its honor roll for both increasing the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses and for improving scores, particularly those who earn 3 or better on the final exams.

Junior/Senior High School Principal Carl Guidotti told the School Board last week, “We are one of 539 schools being honored across the country. This is an opportunity to put Holland on the map again.”

In 2008, 33 Holland students were enrolled in AP classes. Over the past few years, that number has risen to 59, in spite of a shrinking student population.

In other matters, school principals reported on how they handled the difficult Monday morning arrival of students after the tragic events in Newtown, Conn. Elementary Principal Michael Dodge said he had several phone calls and emails, but they were mostly positive.

Guidotti said he reminded office staff at the junior/senior high school that they are the first line of defense. He said he reminded them to be vigilant and that it’s all right to ask questions of visitors.

Also, district business leader Patrice Beadle offered a preliminary outline of the district’s financial obligations, saying the district’s contractual expenses will increase by $1.3 million for 2013-14. Those include step increases, health benefits and BOCES obligations. She added that the board would likely need to use some fund balance to meet expenses during the current year. However, she warned, “If we continue to use fund balance at this rate, we will run out of it.”

Finally, the board debated whether to continue paying dues to two professional organizations.

The Erie County School Board Association charges $4,000 annually, a fee the district paid in June. The state School Board Association membership fee of $6,700 is now due, Interim Superintendent Sylvia Root said, but is unpaid because of a lack of funds budgeted for professional organization fees.

School Board members noted benefits in belonging to both organizations but held off on a decision to join the state association.